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CargoSmart Soft-Sided Car Top Carrier Review

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Review of the CargoSmart Soft-Sided Car Top Carrier

Zach: Hey guys, Zach here at And today we're going to be taking a look at the Cargo Smart rooftop cargo bag. This is going to be a really good way if you're looking to get some more space in your vehicle, you can throw some gear up top, whether you're going on a family vacation or a camping trip. This is going to be a good way to keep your stuff out of the vehicle, to free up room for friends and family, but also protect your gear from the elements. It is going to give us 15 cubic feet, which is a significant amount of space that we're going to be adding to our vehicle. You've probably seen a lot of people that have cargo baskets on top of their car.

Those are really cool. They do a good job of carrying your gear. They actually kind of increase what you can carry because this style bag is just sitting on the roof, but you can use this bag with those carriers as well, but it's a pretty good size.So you might need a larger carrier for that. But I like that we can sit this on our roof. Now, when you put this on a bare roof, like we have here today, we highly recommend using a mat like this one from Rightline Gear.

And what this does is this doesn't allow you to carry heavier stuff on your roof because you definitely want to check with your owner's manual of what your roof can withstand. But this just keeps this material from kind of marring the paint and just rubbing that clear coat off. Because that material on top of your paint going down the highway would create some pretty good friction, and it might leave some marks on there that you're not very happy with. Now when it comes to the size of this, it's a pretty good size. It's going to measure 38 inches by 38 inches.And I don't have this thing maxed out, but it's going to stand 18 inches tall when we fully max this out.

And what I like about this bag style versus a box, those boxes are really expensive, but I can add some taller stuff in here. The bag's a little bit more malleable versus the box, where I'm stuck to those hard confined spaces of fitting kind of awkward shaped stuff in here. But when it comes to keeping stuff protected, it's not going to be completely waterproof like a cargo box would be. This is though going to do a really good job of holding up against rain. You can see that material's pretty thick there and it's going to be a water resistant vinyl.

This is the same material they use on their cargo carrier bags. And we've used those plenty of times and haven't had any issues.I like that this flat comes over the zipper. It's held in place with several hook and loop fasteners. The zipper's pretty good. It seems pretty standard, fairly smooth. The bag kind of folds over on itself, so it can be, have some issues from time to time. But overall, I think it's pretty good. So I like the material. I think that if you're going to use this thing every weekend, you may eventually see some signs of wear and tear. And they do have a really nice option available. That's going to be a little bit thicker, a little bit more durable material, but I think if you're only using this a few times a year for a camping trip or a family vacation, I think it's going to do a good job of holding up. When it comes to fastening this down, we're going to have four loops on each corner, and our straps are going to run through those to secure this down to a crossbar system or a raised rails.I personally like the crossbars with the raised rails here that we have on this Envoy that's factory. But it all depends on your setup with your vehicle. But either way, however you do it, those are going to hold up good. I like the stitching on it. It's reinforced right here and all around the bag has pretty nice stitching on it. One thing that I'm not a big fan of, but I do see some benefits in, is how far this opens up. It only opens up 50% and that's on just two sides here. So you can kind of fold it over like that and load your stuff up. I think it maybe makes it awkward to get stuff spaced out even, but I think really what it comes in handy is that you don't have to really reach far for your lid there to bring it back together. Not the worst thing in the world, but just, I wish I had a little bit more space to kind of get it up and out of the way.So when it comes to just getting the job done, this is a really good option. I don't have to buy a bunch of additional stuff to make this work. Now I did already have some raised rails. A lot of vehicles have those. If you have crossbars, that makes it even better, but I don't have to buy a cargo carrier. I don't have to buy an expensive roof box. If you're just looking to get some gear out of your car and you just want it to be protected from the elements, this is going to do the job, and it's going to give you a good amount of space. So we can show you here how we got these straps run. We have them going from side to side and then front to back. And then they're all running through those loops we just showed you. But what you can do is when you get one side started, we'll finish up this one right here, we'll run it underneath our side rails here.Then we can run it back up to itself. And then back down that bottom slot there, where it grabs onto those teeth and we can cinch it down. I think these straps do a pretty good job. I'm pretty confident in them. I think over time they might see some wear and tear, but those are pretty normal nylon straps. And as long as you don't have anything super heavy up here, which you shouldn't, since it's sitting on your bare roof, you should be good. We'll just clean up our excess strap there and we'll be set and ready to go.

Info for this part was:

Employee Andrew K
Video by:
Andrew K
Employee Dustin K
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Employee Zach D
Installed by:
Zach D

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